June 29, 2012: The old Driver’s Seat gets a real workout this week! First, we take a week with Volkswagen’s Passat with a 2.5-liter inline five cylinder under the hood, and ask if it meets the high standards set by the diesel and V6. Next, Chris Sawyer spends a day with Ford checking out what’s new for 2013. More of the same? Better? Read his report and decide for yourself. Finally, Al goes to California to drive Hyundai’s new Veloster Turbo. Can an injection of horsepower turn it from curiosity to sports car? Al also provides us with his words of wisdom about cruise control, including the adaptive version, and a new addition to that old saying about it raining cats and dogs.
June 21, 2012: Fresh off the Le Mans 24 Hours comes word that the organizers want to require that automakers wishing to compete race hybrids, and don’t care what happens to the DeltaWing. Incensed, Chris Sawyer cuts through the politically correct claptrap, and proposes a formula that would force alternative propulsion systems to actually compete. Al has a big week this week. First he drives the new Mercedes GLK350 in Virginia, and files a report. Next, he reviews Jaguar’s XJL Portfolio, and gives us his impressions of the biggest Cat yet. Oh, and just to let you know the old Al hasn’t been taken by space aliens, he files a Tirade on, of all things, steel wheels and hub caps! BASF is bringing its Chip Foose-modified Mercedes 300SL to the Concours d’Elegance, and sponsoring seminars on restoring your classic… only not with Chip Foose, unfortunately. Finally, our Director of Web Development stops by at the Eyes On Design show, and comes away focused on two interesting Fords.
June 15, 2012: Just in time for this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, we take a look inside Audi’s R18 twins; the R18 ultra and R18 e-tron quattro. One is a lightweight diesel, the other a four-wheel-drive diesel hybrid. Staying with the whole German diesel thing, Chris Sawyer tests VW’s Touareg TDI Lux and comes away smitten with diesel power and economy. Al reviews Paul Ingrassia’s book Engines of Change, and takes another shot at folks who dawdle at traffic lights. Finally, we take a look at the 2013 Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h, the current leaders in the near-luxury field.
June 8, 2012: Is the 2012 Beetle more of the same, or a vehicle that you really might want to own? We answer that question. Speaking of VW, what can Alfa Romeo and Mazda learn from its efforts to increase U.S. sales? And is Mazda’s foray into Grand-Am’s GX series the end of “Zoom Zoom” or a succinct way to reintroduce diesel power to U.S. buyers? Finally, Al almost gets blindsided while driving. See what technology has him calling for a government mandate.
June 1, 2012: Mini’s JCW Cooper Coupe crosses our path, and makes a good impression. Is it the return of the everyday British sports car? We find out. Sauber takes a saw to one of its old Formula One cars to give fans a look at what’s under the skin, and we have the video. Speaking of F1, the pit fire in Barcelona raises questions about fuel vapors and static electricity, but we wonder if the phenomena goes much deeper than that. The Editor reviews a book about aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss and comes away impressed with the man behind the machines, and wonders why it has taken this long to hear more about his accomplishments. Speaking of stuff that could fall from the sky, Al wonders aloud about bird poo and what can be done to prevent it from ruining your car’s finish.